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Collecting unpaid citations through a digital enforcement solution

The average medium sized city writes on average 90K citations a year, with a payment rate of about 74%. That means if the average citation is $55 a city could be losing up to $1.3M a year on unpaid fines. By increasing compliance by just 1%, cities could gain back $51,500 in additional revenue. The big question is what solutions can a city put in place to earn back that remaining 26% of revenue?

With a digital enforcement solution like Passport’s, you can implement multiple collections strategies to reach offenders on a broader scale to collect unpaid fines prior to moving to formal collections. 

Enforce repeat offenders 

With Passport’s Barnacle integration, cities can better enforce repeat offenders to collect unpaid citations. Barnacle easily connects to Passport’s back-office system as well as officers on the street through immobilization API’s. The city can even require an offender to pay all outstanding citations in order to disable the Barnacle lock.

The City of Greeley, CO Parking Services Division leverages Barnacle’s integration with Passport to more effectively manage motorist violations and repeat offenders on its streets. With these technologies in place, the staff expects to save more than 10 hours a month on manual tasks, such as data entry. “We have been very pleased with the efficiencies gained through the integration of Passport and Barnacle,” says Will Jones, Public Works Deputy Director for the City of Greeley. “In addition to the time savings, the integration has enhanced our ability to utilize Passport for all parking data management.”

Furthermore, the Passport immobilization API allows a city to future-proof their operation as new technology emerges to the market, allowing innovative emerging organizations to quickly plug into the Passport environment. Passport will continue to add new partners to help officers register and deploy new immobilization devices to vehicles. 

Offer payment plans 

There could be a number of reasons why a citation goes unpaid, but one common reason is that the offender simply can’t pay it. Passport understands this, and has created payment plans which allows offenders to pay their citation in set increments vs all at once through the RMCpay portal or in person. This can help promote equity throughout your community, and encourage offenders to pay off fines in a timely manner.

Collect all outstanding fines at once

A different approach that some cities have taken, is requiring an offender to pay all outstanding citations associated with a license plate number or all citations with a registration hold associated with them. This means that a city could potentially collect hundreds of dollars worth of fines in one transaction.

Simplify collections associated with rental cars

Citations associated with rental cars can cause serious headaches for enforcement departments of tourist towns since plates are associated with rental companies, not individual renters. Passport offers an integration with VERRA. This allows Passport to obtain the driver information for citations issued to rental cars so cities can send letters and collect payment from the driver of the car at the time the citation was issued. If driver information is not transferred to Passport, the rental company’s processor, VERRA, will pay the citation on behalf of the rental car company/the driver within weeks.